Google Pledges to Help Developers With Wearable Devices

Sundar Pichai

Asa Mathat

Sundar Pichai


Google will release an Android-based software development kit for wearable devices, exec Sundar Pichai said today.

The SDK will be available in two weeks, Pichai said during a talk at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Afterward, a Google spokeswoman said Google is not planning a larger event around the release, but it is indeed happening.

Pichai did not address whether Google will be building its own smartwatch, as many expect. He did, however, note that wearables is a broader category than just the wrist.

The wearable SDK will address how various sensors worn on the body could work in tandem, according to Pichai.

“When we say wearables we think about it much more broadly,” Pichai said. “It’s for partners and developers to figure out. It could be a jacket … with sensors — I don’t know.”

Meanwhile, Google hasn’t released full programmer tools for its existing wearable device Google Glass, though some are available via preview to developers.

As for bringing Android into another venue that’s getting smarter — cars — Pichai said he hoped that instead of cars being hardwired with a particular operating system, the technology would work similarly to Google’s Chromecast for TVs.

If a $35 Chromecast dongle is plugged in, the Cast protocol allows people to bounce what they are watching on their phones onto their big screens. A smarter car interface could offer a similar experience between a driver or passenger’s phone and a dashboard display.

That way, perhaps, people could avoid the silliness of having to match their car’s operating system to their phone’s.

Chromecast itself has been a surprisingly successful product for Google, with widespread popular appeal from the first day it was unveiled.

Pichai said that millions of Chromecasts have been sold in the U.S. — the only place where they are available. The product is about to launch internationally with localized content for various markets, as has been previously announced.

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